Tag Archives: Forbes
by Chris Roush
Business magazine Forbes announced that its three-year-old native ad offering BrandVoice will account for about 20 percent of total ad revenue this year, rising to an estimated 30 percent in 2014.
David Taintor of Adweek reports, “On the strength of BrandVoice, as well as programmatic sales, digital ad revenue has exceeded print for the company, as digital now accounts for 53 percent of total ad revenue. And ad revenue from Forbes.com has grown 27 percent this year through September versus the same period last year, according to the publisher.
“In theory, sponsored content is as compelling as the articles it lives among. But the risk, of course, is that readers will click on an interesting headline and recoil after realizing the content amounts to advertising in an editorial wrapping.
“Native advertising has certainly captured the industry’s attention this year, but the jury’s still out on how exactly to define it. The IAB did not explicitly break out native in its Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released on Wednesday, because the definition remains so fuzzy.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Forbes Asia currently seeks a full time Business Journalist. This position will be located Asia and will report to our Editor of Forbes Asia, who is located in New York, NY.
High Level Job Description: This Business Journalist will have the opportunity to build and lead a team of freelance researchers and Forbes licensee partners to compile annual lists of the 50 richest individuals in Southeast Asian countries for Forbes Asia magazine. This individual will also be responsible for keeping track of billionaires for Forbes. We are looking for a journalist with a good eye for numbers and an appreciation of the opportunity to cover, and discover, the wealthiest people in Southeast Asia.
Detailed Job Description/Responsibilities:
Compiling Forbes Asia’s annual 50 richest lists in SE Asian countries
Management of freelance researchers and licensee partners
Reporting and writing magazine profiles
Managing news-driven online postings
Representing Forbes at events across the region
Financial-asset identification and valuation (to be used in first-hand reporting and in management of others)
Familiarity with corporate financial laws, and the varied laws governing them within the region (a plus)
Keys to Success:
Strong organizational skills
Ability to pay high attention to details
Capability of working well with others in pressing deadline situations
Drive and ambition.
Please do note on your application your current location and availability, as we are looking to have the Business Journalist on the ground in Southeast Asia by this fall.
Please ensure your link to your portfolio/writing samples is on your resume.
Please enclose your cover letter with your resume submission.
The Forbes brand in Asia, comprising Forbes Asia – which reaches 80,000 business leaders across the region – and local licensed editions – Forbes China, Forbes India, Forbes Korea, Forbes Indonesia, Forbes Thailand and Forbes Vietnam – has a combined circulation of 430,000.
Forbes Media LLC, publisher of Forbes magazine and forbes.com, is an authoritative source of news and information on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles. Forbes.com, a leading business website, currently reaches 49 million monthly unique visitors, according to Omniture. Forbes magazine, Forbes Asia and Forbes Europe attract a global audience of more than 5 million readers. The Forbes magazine iPad app merges the power of print storytelling with social sharing and the web. The Company also publishes ForbesLife magazine, as well as 29 licensed local editions around the world.
To apply, go here.
by Chris Roush
Forbes chief product officer Lewis Dvorkin reports Monday that the business magazine’s website has hit 50 million unique viewers in September, a new record.
Dvorkin writes, “Three years ago this month, we launched the beginnings of a new publishing platform for our staffers and contributors, now a mix of 1,200 journalists, authors, academics and other topic experts. Early this morning, we officially passed 50 million unique visitors, as measured by Omniture. It may be just a number, but it represents the power of a unique content-creation model that sits at the foundation of our efforts to build a sustainable model for journalism.
“Below are a few posts that tell the story. In the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a second ebook, The Path Forward for the News Business Requires Free-Thinking New Leaders.”
Read more here.
by Liz Hester
The New York Times columnist David Carr’s piece Sunday was about the business of media, specifically the increasing blur between journalism and paid content across many major news outlets.
What is the most disconcerting is an allegation by Joe McCambley, founder of digital design firm The Wonderfactory, that some public relations firms are being allowed to post directly to news organizations sites:
Now the new rage is “native advertising,” which is to say advertising wearing the uniform of journalism, mimicking the storytelling aesthetic of the host site. Buzzfeed, Forbes, The Atlantic and, more recently, The New Yorker, have all developed a version of native advertising, also known as sponsored content; if you are on Buzzfeed, World of Warcraft might have a sponsored post on, say, 10 reasons your virtual friends are better than your real ones.
It is usually labeled advertising (sometimes clearly, sometimes not), but if the content is appealing, marketers can gain attention and engagement beyond what they might get for say, oh, a banner ad.
Mr. McCambley is wary. He says he thinks native advertising can provide value to both reader and advertiser when properly executed, but he worries that much of the current crop of these ads is doing damage to the contract between consumer and media organizations.
It’s a tough call – either pull in the revenue or watch your traditional media outlet fall apart as readers decamp. Publishers have few choices for earning money, especially since subscriptions continue to fall and companies pay less and less for online ads.
But Carr isn’t the only one worried about the rise of paid content. The Federal Trade Commission plans to look into the area, according to The Hill:
The Federal Trade Commission will examine the growing field of “sponsored content” in digital media, the organization announced Monday.
The agency will hold a workshop in December on the ads, which look similar to stories posted on news and social websites and have become increasingly common as media look for new ways to make money.
The FTC, which has the authority to bring charges against companies that deceive consumers, now has nonbinding guidelines on the use of the sponsored content ads. The workshop could be a first step toward expanding or strengthening them.
“Increasingly, advertisements that more closely resemble the content in which they are embedded are replacing banner advertisements — graphical images that typically are rectangular in shape — on publishers’ websites and mobile applications,” the FTC said Monday.
Carr goes on to outline some of the same issues the FTC plans to raise:
Publishers might build a revenue ledge through innovation of the advertising format, but the confusion that makes it work often diminishes the host publication’s credibility.
Of course, some publishers have already gone flying off the edge, most notoriously The Atlantic, which in January allowed Scientology to create a post that was of a piece with the rest of the editorial content on its site, even if it was differently labeled. They got clobbered, in part because handing the keys to the car to a controversial religion with a reputation for going after journalists was dumb.
Forbes is one of the best know names to have fully embraced the concept and has come under some criticism for the choices, Carr writes:
Lewis Dvorkin is the chief product officer of Forbes and a veteran of both traditional and digital media publications, having worked at The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and AOL.
“I believe that people gravitate toward content they trust and over the last three years, according to comScore, our audience has grown from 12 million unique users to 25 million,” he said. “We have very high standards and we spend a lot of time vetting our contributors and making sure that our marketers put real effort into what they put on the site, and understand the importance of coming up with accurate, useful information.”
Forbes’s BrandVoice allows advertisers to produce editorial products that reflect their best efforts to engage audiences. The content is clearly labeled advertising, but has the familiar headline, art and text configuration of an editorial work.
As a result, things can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. In addition to staff posts, the site has a roster of 1,200 contributors — consultants, academics, journalists and others — who are compensated according to the audience they attract. And then there are the posts from the marketers, with a current roster of 15 active brands.
That’s enough to make your head spin just reading it. No wonder it’s hard for readers to determine the motivation or bias behind stories. But according to Carr’s column, they don’t seem to mind:
Malcolm Forbes might not recognize this version of his magazine, but it has been a hit: revenue from BrandVoice has doubled in the last year. Right now, Forbes can charge a premium for being a well-known brand that is an early adopter of a very sexy strategy, but the execution could dilute the power of that brand over time.
Mr. Dvorkin is quick to point out that the magazine is fresh off two prestigious Loeb awards, with magazine newsstand sales up 17 percent in the first half of the year. He suggests that the cornucopia of content is enabling, not preventing, his staff from producing sticky, credible work.
It seems to be working for Forbes, but that’s not to say that the model is one that can and should be repeated at other news outlets. It’s a constant struggle for many media outlets to make money and it will be interesting to see if the FTC steps in to regulate it in the future.
by Chris Roush
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes about why journalists need to work more closely with designers and how such work has increased the traffic at its Forbes.com site.
Dvorkin writes, “This is a new way to consume pages, putting an end to pagination. In appearance, it’s simple. Under the hood, it’s complicated. When you scroll to the bottom of a post (after the comments and promotional items), a new post loads with a brief spinning pause, to let you know it’s loading. The more you scroll, the more posts you get. You can also click the Next Post tab to the right to move quickly down the screen to the next story. So, what determines the Next Post in a stream? Our editors and writers determine part of it. So do our business interests. Each consumer plays a role, too, based on how they use the site. That means your streams will increasingly be different than mine or anyone else’s. Here’s how it works:
“– When you arrive on a post (from search, a social news stream, Forbes.com or elsewhere), the next few posts beneath it will be related content curated by the first post’s author or our newsroom producers. Posts you’ve read before will not appear in the stream.
“– Next will come posts from our BrandVoice partners or those that carry sponsor support. At first, these posts will be specific to the topic vertical, or channel, of the initial post selected. Eventually, they will be far more contextual to the posts themselves.
“– Now comes personalization. Our technology team has built an algorithm that will deliver content to the stream based on who you are and how you’re interacting with FORBES content. For example: A reader’s browser will tell us what country or state do you live in. A reader’s activity tells us what you like to read, how much of it you read, the depth of your scrolling and text you choose to highlight. These are just a few of the data points we can evaluate to determine the content you might find of interest. The algorithm improves over time with the activity of the reader. As it does, personalized content will likely appear higher in the stream and elsewhere on the page.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
David Carr of the New York Times writes for Monday paper about media organizations that have developed advertising strategies that look a lot like journalism, and he focuses on what is going on at Forbes.
Carr writes, “In a sense, Forbes has come up with an oven that makes its own food — something of a grail for publishers — with abundant content for readers and all manner of marketing opportunities for advertisers. But for a brand built on getting rich and living well, the messages in this new world are very mixed: on Friday, there were the expected Apple, Dell and Google articles, but there were others about gaming, films and listicles. And once you start clicking, it’s hard to know what motives lie between the lines of what you are reading.
“(This might be a good spot to mention that The New York Times has joined the fray, including embedding native advertising for Citi Bikes in an app called The Scoop.)
“Malcolm Forbes might not recognize this version of his magazine, but it has been a hit: revenue from BrandVoice has doubled in the last year. Right now, Forbes can charge a premium for being a well-known brand that is an early adopter of a very sexy strategy, but the execution could dilute the power of that brand over time.
“Mr. Dvorkin is quick to point out that the magazine is fresh off two prestigious Loeb awards, with magazine newsstand sales up 17 percent in the first half of the year. He suggests that the cornucopia of content is enabling, not preventing, his staff from producing sticky, credible work.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes about new technology being used on Forbes.com called scrolling streams.
Dvorkin writes, “Today, we began to roll out a new architecture for page screens. We call them intelligent scrolling streams. You’re on one right now. One key feature: rich, continuous streams of content (post after post after post) that are curated and personalized — and importantly, serve our business, too. Another critical component: progressive loading of ad units and new scalable, trackable and measurable ways to monetize the streams. Each element of the screen is built within a responsive framework, so when the time is right we can move the experience to smartphones and tablets.
“By first seeking answers for critical business challenges, we found ourselves making the screens simpler, cleaner and more readable, too. It’s also easier to discover content, to follow and read more from a favorite contributor, to find groupings of related posts and different takes on a subject. In a bigger sense, they represent our next step in a quest to build a sustainable model for ad-supported journalism in the digital era.
“For now, the new experience can be seen by 5% of our audience. Our technology team made this post and stream available to everyone. Over the next months, we’ll expand the roll-out. We’ll test and measure performance, as we did over the summer with specific elements. We’ll fix what doesn’t quite work as planned, make adjustments and introduce new elements. This strategy is consistent with our relentless focus on product iteration.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer of Forbes, and Mike Perlis, the chief executive officer of Forbes, were interviewed for Riptide, an oral history of the collision between journalism and technology.
Here is an excerpt:
Lewis: As I look back over however long it is, to Mike’s point here, you had even at AOL or wherever you were, it was print journalists trying to figure out a new medium. Over those years, there developed a whole group of digital journalists, people who only grew up in that medium, who actually used it. The print journalists weren’t using it; they were just filling it, right? But you had people out there using it. And soon they moved into the professional workforce and they became bankers and journalists too. Right?
And they made their way into journalistic organizations because they used it, they grew up on it. And that started to change with content on the web digitally. To the point that Mike just made, in the last two and a half years 25 percent of the current Forbes editorial product work started in the last two and a half years. Think about that.
Mike: And we haven’t increased the head count. So correspondingly, that means 25 percent or more left.
Lewis: And none of those 25%, this is not saying, oh, a reporter for a reporter. All new skill sets. All new skill sets that never existed here because these are the people who grew up using this from birth who became journalists and part of the media world. That’s what’s really changed.
Martin: And talk about the benefits and trade offs of this a little bit.
Lewis: Well, it’s funny, I actually think about that a lot right now. The benefits are that there are people who the technology is who they are. They understand it. They live and breathe it. It’s just natural. They don’t have to think about it. They think how people communicate and use content and the benefits cascade from there.
There are some regrets in this when I look at it that most of those folks coming on have never had that classical journalistic fundamental education. Right? It’s just a generation that skipped all that. And there are some core things that you really need to know. And the economics of the industry don’t enable them to be taught so much.
by Chris Roush
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer of Forbes, writes about the three opportunities facing publications these days, and reports about the business magazine’s strong mobile growth.
Dvorkin writes, “In August 2012, mobile traffic to Forbes.com represented 25% of total visits. Last month, it was 35.5%. In each case, smartphone visits were more less double tablet visits. Mobile page views tell a similar story.
“In August 2012, smartphone pv’s (U.S. only), were 9% of our total page views. Last month, they were 15%. Industrywide numbers like that have led to the battle cry of Mobile First, a somewhat flawed effort to focus on product solutions before ad solutions. At the moment, ad agencies and their clients aren’t ready for mobile. They can’t come to grips with the smaller screen. Search is a $20 billion digital business; display, $18 billion (with banners representing $10 billion); mobile $8 billion (with search text ads accounting for $4.5 billion); and video, $4 billion.
“How do you get marketers more comfortable with non-search mobile ads? For FORBES, first comes BrandVoice. We believe the headline for a BrandVoice post is essentially the better display ad on mobile devices. Those headlines, pre-pended with the marketer’s name, fit the screen perfectly and are part of the natural flow of editorial content on our smartphone experience. Second comes the new screens we’ll soon be rolling our for desktop consumers.
“We’re replacing page views with intelligent streams of content (post after post after post). We’ll progressively load ads on those screens, meaning the number of ads is determined by the depth of the scroll. We’ll also integrate new native ads units. As we migrate the desktop experience to mobile, we’ll do the work to make the experience — and the ad units — responsive to the smaller screen.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Forbes Media, the parent company of Forbes magazine, announced Tuesday that it has struck a deal with a developer to build the first Forbes Media Tower, which will be located in the Philippines.
A commercial office building, the Forbes Media Tower is designed to serve the world’s business leaders by providing an environment to conduct business with premium amenities. The deal is with Century Properties Group Inc., a leading Philippine real estate firm.
“Forbes has always been an authoritative resource for the world’s business leaders, and this tower further reinforces our long-standing mission,” said Mike Perlis, president & CEO of Forbes Media, in a statement. “The Philippines, with its rapidly growing market and strong relations with the U.S., is the perfect location to launch this effort.”
The Forbes Media Tower in Makati, Metro Manila will offer approximately 60,000 square meters of premium office space, which will be available for sale and for rent by the first quarter of 2014. In addition to office space, the building will provide meeting and event space with plans for a fine dining restaurant, fitness center and exhibition facilities.
Read more here.